Statesville firefighters Hunter Swicegood and Hunter Shook were among SFD personnel who completed training for their new self-contained breathing apparatus.

Special to Iredell Free News

Statesville firefighters recently completed the necessary training for their new self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), purchased with the help of a FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG).

Following the completion of the classroom training, the firefighters completed an air consumption course to determine their air consumption capacities while going through a series of strenuous exercises.

The training took place at the Fire Training Grounds, where the firefighters climbed a series of stairs, hoisted fire hose 3-stories, climbed out of the tower using a ladder and then hustled to an area where they used a Kiser Sled to simulate additional work. Their air consumption and blood pressure numbers were monitored.

“Each person has different capacities and it’s important to know their limitations before they enter a hazard area wearing their SCBA,” said Deputy Chief Glen Kurfees.

The Statesville Fire Department’s old SCBA equipment is 10 years old and no longer meets current standards.

The new equipment will increase firefighter safety, effectiveness and efficiency, allowing for improved community service.

The total cost for the new equipment is $413,410. The FEMA grant provided $375,827 and City Council approved the 10 percent matching funds of $37,582.